Image via jessainscough.com
When the news broke that health and wellbeing blogger Jess Ainscough died of cancer, many of us were left wondering what Gerson Therapy is, and sadly, if her death could have been prevented.
The former online editor of Dolly magazine and self-appointed “Wellness Warrior” first learned she had a rare form of cancer, epithelioid sarcoma, at the age of 22. Doctor’s told Ainscough that her best chance of survival would be to amputate her arm at the shoulder.
She initially tried chemotherapy, but after a year in remission the tumours returned. Doctor’s again advised that amputation was one her best option. The operation would have significantly increased her chance of 10-year survival. Without treatment the life expectancy in 35 percent of patients with epithelioid sarcoma is five years.
It was then that Jess started researching alternatives. She spent 10 days at the Gawler Foundation in Melbourne. An alternative therapies clinic founded by Dr Ian Gawler, who claims to have cured his secondary bone cancer for over 30 years. A claim which has been refuted by medical professionals and his ex-wife Grace Gawler, who say it was more likely that he was suffering from tuberculosis, not cancer at the time.
”A lot of people take hope from my story,” an unrepentant Gawler told Fairfax Media. ”By using me as the vehicle for airing their concerns is to overlook the point that I have been a source of hope and inspiration for many, many people for 30 years.”
Dr Gawler was a figure that Jess looked up to. It was her time at the Gawler Foundation, which ultimately led her to Gerson Therapy.
“The way I saw it I had two choices: I could rely on the slash, poison and burn method offered to me by the medical profession and become stuck in the ‘cancer patient’ category, or I could take responsibility for my illness and bring my body to optimum health so that it can heal itself,” Ainscough wrote in opinion piece in 2010.
“For me it was an easy decision. Chemotherapy and radiation do not have great success on the type of cancer I have, and I’m not going to let them cut my arm off.”
“According to the late Dr Max Gerson, if you can stick to the strict regime for a minimum of two years, Gerson Therapy has the ability to cure cancer like no drug can. Alternative treatments like Gawler and Gerson offer patients hope, choice and understanding. They also offer them a cure, not just remission. To me, that sounds like the much more attractive option.”
The basis of Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that “activates the body’s ability to heal itself” through an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.
A typical daily diet for a Gerson patient on the full therapy consists of 13 glasses of fresh, raw carrot/apple and green-leaf juices, three full plant-based meals, and organic fresh fruit and vegetables to snack on.